Makalei Golf Club Kailua-Kona Hawaii, course tour

Hole #8

Perhaps the most visually stunning of our beautiful par-3s, the 8th Hole is truly Makalei's signature hole, thanks in no small part to the view of 10,000-foot Mount Haleakala on Maui some 90 miles across the ocean. Be sure to consider the wind and elevation change on this hole. There's trouble on the left and the right. The ideal shot is a mid iron to the front portion of the green, although leaving it short of the green is not all that bad, as many a par has been made here with a one-putt. The green moves your ball left, towards the pond. The 8th presents your best chance at a hole-in-one.

HISTORICAL NOTE: On July 30, 2006, Makalei's own "Eddie," scored a hole-in-one using his 6-iron. He did it right after Brian, owner of Big Island Auto Parts in Kona, rolled in his hole-in-one with his 7-iron. We mean right after. The odds of back-to-back holes in one on two consecutive swings of the club in the same foursome? 225 million to one, we are told.

Makalei Golf Club Kailua-Kona Hawaii, course tour

Hole #2

This hole was once a score-killer, but we've cleared out all the brush and long grasses (well, almost all the long grasses) at the fairway's left center. That's because all the difficulty one needs in an uphill hole is, well, the uphill hole itself. Take advantage of the generous landing area off the tee. The closer you are to the center of the fairway the better, because you need to hit a great approach on this puppy. The green is wide, but shallow. Any approaches that are too long will find a beautiful expanse of lawn to play from behind the green, which features a small lava tube - but few ever go there. Nasty undulations on the green, especially short and left. Hope for a right back hole location.

PHOTO OP: Shoot from behind the green back towards the ocean (but you knew that, eh?).

Makalei Golf Club Kailua-Kona Hawaii, course tour

Hole #1

There it is. From tee to green. A short par 4. You can see it all. Trouble is to the left. Aim your tee shot to the right to take advantage of the slightly sloping terrain to get within a wedge of the green. That's where this hole, in so many ways, begins. Stay below the hole. And, yes, that lava tube to the right of the green would made a perfect walk-in bar...but don't. Walk in, that is.

Makalei Golf Club Kailua-Kona Hawaii, course tour

Hole #15

This is designed to play as a 3-shot hole, but for the better players, going for the green in two is a definite possibility. This is a good birdie hole, but just as good for a double bogey.

Makalei Golf Club Kailua-Kona Hawaii, course tour

Hole #18

Like a great wine, this hole--considered the toughest on the course--offers substance in a simple presentation. This straight-away par four requires a solid tee shot that finds the short grass. Normal humans can't reach the green from the left rough. No human can reach the green from the trees right of the fairway. Nail your yardage on your approach and have a go at birdie on this treacherous, undulating green. Sounds simple, eh? Come springtime, the jacaranda trees will redefine the color violet for you on this hole.